Home » Pet Health » Toxins and Your Pet


Over your pet’s lifetime, they become exposed to many different environments. Because they are curious, they are more likely to encounter an array of potentially harmful substances. These elements may include pesticides, chemicals, pollutants like tobacco smoke and nicotine, cannabis, different forms of radiation, and infectious agents like viruses. Unfortunately, all can cause cancer. But your pet’s cancer risk depends on several factors, including the exposure time to these elements, the strength of the exposure, your pet’s genetic makeup, age, and how healthy they are at the time of exposure. Your pet’s symptoms resulting from the experience will also vary and can range from a mild, short-term illness to more long-term and potentially severe sickness.

Although we can’t monitor our pets all the time, we can take steps to protect our furry friends. For example, if you smoke tobacco cigarettes or use cannabis, store the products away from your pet’s reach and dispose of any waste in pet-free containers. You might also consider smoking outside. 

If you like to spend most of your time outside, there are further measures you can take. For instance, protect your pet from the sun, make sure the pets they interact with are disease-free, and try to keep them away from areas where there are more likely to be pollutants, such as heavy traffic areas and industrial plant locations.

Even the products we have at home, like household cleaners, paint, and pesticides, can pose a danger. So, keep those locked up so your pet cannot access them. 

Learning what toxins put your pet at risk is an excellent way to keep your furry friend healthy. Taking the necessary steps to protect them will put your mind at ease and reduce the chances of your pet encountering substances that may be harmful and will give you many happy days ahead with your beloved pet.

The Pet Cancer Foundation’s Website Editorial team is comprised of veterinarians, veterinary oncologists, and veterinary technicians, as well as scientific writers and editors who have attained their PhD’s in the life sciences, along with general editors and research assistants. All content found in this section goes through an extensive process with multiple review stages, to ensure this extended resource provides pet families with the most up-to-date information publicly available.

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Keep Your Pets Healthy Editorial Team

Last Updated: October 15, 2022 

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The Pet Cancer Foundation’s medical resource for pet owners is protected by copyright.

For reprint requests, please see our Content Usage Policy.